Several recent surveys that have been conducted by Gallup, caring.com and forbes.com during the past three years have all yielded similar data. They've all shown that as much as 60% of Americans have no estate plan in place. The reasons why individuals avoid doing this are varied. There are many dangers associated with not having an estate plan.
The researchers working on these studies found that individuals often avoid estate planning because they think that they're invincible. They may realize that they'll eventually die, but they tend to believe that death is far from their doorstep. Many find the idea of dying to be too depressing to think about.
Others think that they have too few assets that there's no point in doing it.
The truth is that you put your freedoms and what you've worked hard for on the line when you don't engage in estate planning.
If you're a parent to minor children and something happens to you, then it's important that you have a will to spell out who you'd like to become to step in and serve as your son or daughter's legal guardian. This is just one of the reasons that someone younger might want to engage in estate planning.
You also put your loved ones at risk of not inheriting any assets that are titled in your name alone when you pass away without a will. If you don't draft a health care power of attorney, then you may end up with a stranger making medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated instead of someone that you know and trust to make choices in alignment with your wishes.
Without a living trust, your assets may have to go through probate, both an involved and costly process. This can be easily avoided. You may also jeopardize your eligibility for certain government benefits such as Medicaid if you fail to place some of your assets in other types of trusts.
There are many benefits associated with drafting a will, setting up a trust, powers of attorney and other legal documents no matter what your stage is in life is. An experienced estate planning attorney here in St. George can make a recommendation as to the different legal documents that you may want to draft in your situation after learning more about you and your family here in Utah.